The C5+1 Concept: The Idea Behind This Week’s B5+1 Forum in Almaty

Recognizing that the Central Asia region could benefit more from initiatives in global security, business and trade if its countries strengthened their cooperation in key areas, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) created the ‘C5+1’ platform last year for just this purpose. The Center’s 5+1 group features the governments of the five Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – plus the United States, whose State Department and international chambers of commerce are central to the platform’s work.

An inaugural C5+1 Summit was held in September 2023, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. At this high-level meeting, the presidents of each of the Central Asian nations joined US president Joe Biden in dialog on enhancing the region’s stability and prosperity through economic, energy, and security partnerships within the C5+1 framework. 

Building on this start made by C5+1, CIPE is now launching the ‘B5+1’ format, focused on cooperation in the global business context. The inaugural B5+1 Forum will take place this week in Kazakhstan’s business capital of Almaty, and will include presentations and panel discussions with policy makers from the United States, Central Asia and several other countries. On 14 and 15 March leaders from the public sector will discuss Central Asia’s economic integration, international trade and investment alongside dozens of influential private companies. 

The B5+1 Forum will pick up where the C5+1 Summit left off in exploring opportunities for American companies in Central Asia. This potential lies in key sectors such as critical minerals, renewable energy and manufacturing.

The Almaty event will also continue the conversation on enhancing regional connectivity via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Trans-Caspian Corridor. At a time of geopolitical upheaval and disruption of existing supply chains, international investment in this trade route is being sought through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

The B5+1 Forum forms part of CIPE’s program called “Improving the Business Environment in Central Asia” (IBECA). CIPE themselves are affiliated to the US Chamber of Commerce – the catalyst behind the B7 and B20 platforms – and receive funding from the US Department of State. 

The establishment of B5+1 is closely aligned with commitments made during the C5+1 Summit last September, and outlined in a document called the New York Declaration. The upcoming Forum aims to deliver on two key commitments in the declaration.


The Times of Central Asia will be in attendance at the B5+1 Forum on 14-15 March, and will be publishing insight and analysis from the event.


Times of Central Asia